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Multi purpose Printer on Linux

Joe Harry
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Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9344
    
    2

Guys,

I'm planning to get myself a printer. My requirements are:

(1) Print about 1000 to 1500 pages per month
(2) Occasionally print color fotos
(2) Should be cost effective (in terms of cartridge usage, refillable cartridge)
(3) More importantly it should support Ubuntu 10.10 out of the box
(4) It will be an all in one (printer / fax / scanner)
(5) Not willing to shell out more than 200 Euros
(6) Should have WLAN

I have narrowed down on the HP Office Jet 4500 wireless and the HP Office Jet 6500 eAll-in-one (guess wireless as well). So looking for suggestions from you guys to help me decide my buy.


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Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15951
    
  19

Well, I'm not a real big fan of HP these days. They work OK, but their paper transport options are a definite weak spot. I've scrapped both industrial and home HP printers that printed just fine, but could no longer feed paper without frequent jamming. The roller refurb kits weren't actually that much help. And in the case of my scanner with ADF, the rollers that are giving me the most grief aren't replaceable at all - the refurb kit only covers the rollers that are working OK.

That said, at least at least they don't abuse you like Lexar does. Lexar has sued people under the DMCA for using third-party supplies. Which can only be done by suppliers who circumvented wholly gratuitous DRM additions to the ink cartridges. I won't touch their stuff. I have this thing about people who tell me how I can and can't use their technology after I've paid for it.

I've had good results with Brother's laser printing system, though.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9344
    
    2

Thanks for the suggestions. Which model from brother is recommended for Ubuntu 10.10 with keeping in mind the price factor that I have mentioned.
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9344
    
    2

Just checked Brother printers at Amazon and it all just added to my confusion. What a variety. I never had such confusion when I bought my notebook last December. Please suggest which one I should go for from Brother.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15951
    
  19

I can't make a recommendation myself. The reason I like Brother so much is that we got the unit about 5 years ago, and it's been very reliable. However, you're planning a much heavier workload than I have, so the model I like - or its modern-day descendent - wouldn't be what I'd recommend for you.

Also, what's available in the Eurozone isn't always identical to USA products, so I wouldn't likely have direct experience with the same options that you do.

I can say this: unless you're setting up a full automated industrial publishing plant, you're actually probably better off getting a high-volume monochrome printer plus a colour () printer and having someone manually merge the two types of pages. Color printers tend to be more fragile, slower and their cartridges hold less toner. Also, never buy a printer where the black toner cannot be replaced independently of the other colors.
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9344
    
    2

Yes, I would also prefer to have a Black and White printer as printing in color really is not needed in my case. Your suggestions make sense but I'd definitely need to make out which model would suit me and with the range of options from what I see in Amazon, I get confused.
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9344
    
    2

Yes, I would also prefer to have a Black and White printer as printing in color really is not needed in my case. Your suggestions make sense but I'd definitely need to make out which model would suit me and with the range of options from what I see in Amazon, I get confused.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15951
    
  19

Well, without being so crass as to actually look at what's currently advertised here's a few items:

1. Duplexer. Do you need printing on both sides of the paper, or one side only? Do you need it bad enough to pay for extra hardware to support it? I can do duplexing manually on my printer by printing even-numbered pages, returning them to the input tray (properly aligned) and then printing odd-numbered pages. This only works in cases where the total number of pages is less than one tray full and no one else is around to pop an extra print job in the queue and print using YOUR paper! Plus, it's extra manual paper handling. Plus, some printers can jam when printing on previously-printed paper. Although one of the things that endeared me to Brother is that it's practically jam-proof. Mechanical duplexers are nice, but they do jam more often than single-side printers.

2. Connections. Do you want to connect direct-to-PC, as a standalone network printer (with its own IP address), as a wireless printer (WiFi and/or Bluetooth?). Or maybe some combination of the above? A lot of "printer models" are just the same printer with different interfacing options.

3. Resolution. For office work, 300DPI is just fine, and 600 DPI is often available for "free". For magazine-quality print, you'd want 1200 DPI or higher. Often you have to install extra memory to take advantage of such things, though.

4. Speed, pages per minute, simplex, duplex and/or color. 15ppm does quite well for me, and 25ppm is pretty common on even inexpensive ones. However, these are optimal speeds. Lots of graphics will cause slower page output.

5. Workload rating. Generally supplied in pages/month, and you already know what you want on that one.

6. Code options. I consider PCL/4 to be the minimum acceptable common denominator, although PostScript is preferable in cases where print precision or vector graphics are required. Anything else is usually gravy.

7. OS quirks. Obviously a printer that only works at full potential under MS Windows is less desirable than a general-purpose printer. Which is one reason why PCL and PostScript support are things I look for. Any printer that doesn't supply one or both is probably not that flexible and at a minimum should be checked against the foomatic hardware support list and/or a good HCL (Hardware Compatibility List).
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9344
    
    2

Thanks for the points. By the time I saw your post, I have already made my purchase. I need to print more documents and to me a duplexer makes more sense and I rarely need color... so monochrome made sense. I have moved in to a new apartment where I have a room dedicated for office work and the printer is going to be installed there. Late nights I work from my bedroom and print some documents when necessary and this made me to go for the wireless option.

I got home a Brother HL2270 DW Wireless. I had some difficulties initially to set it up on my Windows and Linux machines but later I got them to work some how by referring to the following article:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1678093

Your suggestions helped me decide my buy. Thanks for the support.

 
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